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Discarded Military Munitions Case Study: Ordnance Reef (HI-06), Hawaii

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In 2006, the U.S. Department of the Army and Department of the Navy funded a survey of Site HI-06, locally known as Ordnance Reef, Oahu, Hawaii, an area of shallow fringing nearshore reef that was used as a disposal area for discarded military munitions following World War II. This study determined site boundaries; the quantity, type, and locations of munitions present, collected and analyzed sediment and fish samples; and generated a screening-level survey of the data suggesting that contamination from munitions did not pose a threat to human health. Subsequent review of the 2006 study by community members as well as state and Federal resource agencies identified several data gaps requiring further investigation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Ocean Division identified remaining study questions and engaged local experts to design and conduct the follow-on investigation. The University of Hawaii, with assistance from Environet Inc., is conducting a remedial investigation and risk assessment of Ordnance Reef. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is also contributing to the ongoing research effort by deploying sensors that will monitor ocean currents in the area. Data from the sensors will be used to model current patterns and pollutant transport mechanisms to determine potential migration paths should contaminant releases occur from the munitions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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